Presentation of book „Fra Vjeko Ćurić – svetac našeg doba“

Book „Fra Vjeko Ćurić – svetac našeg doba“, by the author Željko Garmaz had its first presentation on June 1st in Žepče.

Translated by: Ksenija Ninić

The book „Fra Vjeko Ćurić – svetac našeg doba“, by the author Željko Garmaz had its first presentation on June 1st in Žepče, hometown of this Bosnian Franciscan who saved thousands of lives in conflicts in Rwanda in the XX century.

About the book spoke the author Željko Garmaz from Osijek, Croatian missionary in Kivumu in Rwanda OFM Ivica Perić, who continued where OFM Vjeko stopped, and the moderator Brane Vrbić. The many gathered watched a part of the documentary film that is being prepared by the Croatian radio television about Kiwumu and the Father Vjeko Center.

This book is first complete biography-publicist work in Croatian language that tells us not only about the life of OFM Vjeko, but about the history and happenings in Rwanda where one of the worst genocides of the 20th century happened. The book is written as a mosaic of life of OFM Vjeko, whose puzzles, through their memories, intimate confessions and thinking are being told by numerous friends of OFM Vjeko, his family, Franciscan brothers, Croatian missionaries in Africa, but also people whose lives were saved by OFM Vjeko during the slaughter in Rwanda.

OFM Ivica Perić, born in Čubren close to Kiseljak, who came to Africa in 1990. (Uganda), and from 2003. acts in Kiwumu, pointed out that even today, not enough is known about OFM Vjeko in Croatia and BiH. More about him is known in Canada, England, France... Former journalist of BBC at the time of genocide in Rwanda and a journalist of The Washington Post David Belton, wrote a very read book in English and wrote a script for a movie about OFM Vjeko. Because of all that, it is very important that this book is published in Croatian language.

OFM Ivica spoke about his friendship with OFM Vjeko that goes back to 1981.; about common actions and help to the unfortunate people during the genocide and the revenge of the winners in Rwanda bloodbath that followed; about OFM Vjeko the way he saw him and perceived him. OFM Vjeko is the type of person that saved tens of thousands people, even more than 130 000 lives, according to data and estimations. He looked back on the way Rwand and Kiwumu live today and presented the craft and technical school and kindergarten in the place that is a part of the Father Vjeko Center.

The moderator of presentation reminded on the part of the book that shows how Heaven intervened this time as well and prayed for the people to convert, to avoid the terrible genocide in Rwanda. Željko Garmaz shortly reminded of the history in Rwanda, especially of the relations between the two peoples of Tutsi and Hutu, and the happenings when in the period of three months in 1994., in the cruellest way about million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. The author pointed out that from one honeymoon in Africa in 2007., the Providence started writing one totally different history. His wife Maja and him met the work of OFM Vjeko Ćurić and became great supporters of the making of Father Vjeko Center and spreading the truth about the grand work of a Franciscan from Osova, close to Žepče.

In his book he wanted to show OFM Vjeko from first hand from the child's age, to the end of his earth life path on January 31st 1998. in Rwanda's capital Kigali. There is a lot of interesting testimonies that are told in the book by rev. Danko Litrić (missionary since 1981. in Rwanda), rev. Sebastijan Marković (with short breaks from 1984. to 2015.), as well as OFM Ivica Perić, numerous and valuable letters preserved in the archives of OFM Vjeko's dear friend Ante Prgomet.